Thursday, November 28, 2013

BOSTON – “Love, Life & Hope”

Label: Frontiers

Review By: Alan Holloway

Okay, so it’s been a mere eleven years since the last Boston album, the okay but nothing amazing “Corporate America”, and mainman Tom Scholz has been busy in his basement knocking together an product that is a bit of a Frankenstsin’s monster when it comes down to it.

In fairness, “Love, Life & Hope” starts off pretty well, with David Victor and Louis St August harmonizing well on the catchy “Heaven On Earth”, followed by the much missed Brad Delp on the remixed (but not much) “Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love” (originally on "Corporate America"). the former is a traditional Boston-ish tune, with a nice bounce and refrain, and the short instrumental that follows, “Last Day of School”, is a fine piece of work from Scholtz. After that it’s not as good as maybe we would hope, and the pointless inclusion of two more "remixed" tracks from “Corporate America” has to be mentioned.  Scholtz has made it clear that he feels the album was under appreciated, but why we have to have “You gave Up On Love” and “Someone” remixed is a bit of a worry when he spent so bloody long perfecting them the first time round. Good tracks, sure, but after eleven years I expect an album full of new material.

Delp appears again on “Sail Away”, with Kimberley Dahme (Who also has her own exclusive vocal lead on “You Gave Up On Love”), whilst Tommy DeCarlo does a fine job on the upbeat title track and album closer “The Way You Look Tonight”.  Even Scholtz himself gets in on the act with “Love Got Away”, and although he gets away with it I was glad he didn’t appoint himself as a permanent lead vocalist.

With “Life, Love & Hope” Tom Scholz has visibly tried to make a Boston album for Boston fans, and when he gets it right it’s great fun. The inclusion of three remixes and a few forgettable tracks amongst the gems means that, in the end, this is not an essential purchase. The most fitting eulogy for Delp came with the wonderful song with Barry Goodreau, “Rockin Away” (if you haven’t heard it, we've been nice and put it at the bottom of this review), whereas this is just another Boston album. The lack of two or three kick ass tracks hurts this one, so maybe in ten years we’ll get a better release, but don’t hold your breath. 

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